This post is not funny. I’ve not experienced this humiliation one time in a way that retrospectively makes me chuckle. Perhaps you find credibility in my typically raucous and clear intention to find humor in my feeble attempts to abstain. The mortification of this particular topic stems from two primary sources:
1. The first time a guy asked, I only sort of knew. I had to google it later, and it was terrifying.
2. The question only comes up in close relationships for me. I have to believe that there is a smidgen of relationship potential before it gets to the physical point when he feels the painful urge to ask. In the context of my emotional and physical guard coming down, the question feels laden with unfair blame. I mean, even that stranger on Fire Island didn’t ask. He knew we had pushed things too far for my comfort. He quickly understood that I really hadn’t been playing it coy with the virginity chatter. He took care of himself in the bathroom…like a gentleman.
What is this degrading topic?
What is this heinous question I dread?
Do you understand blue balls?
It stings and enrages every time a guy asks if you know about blue balls. Every. Time. Yes, I understand. And I am deeply embarrassed that you have to ask me that question right now. I’ve already laid my virginal vulnerabilities at your mercy. Quite honestly, I don’t have a lot of compassion on this one. I’ve made my standards clear. Hold yourself accountable to the same standards by which you are now embarrassing me. Know your body a bit and call it off sooner. Please don’t imply that your painful predicament is entirely my fault. I’m already humiliated enough. AND I need a cold shower, too.
Perhaps there is a scenario in which this harmless question about the discomforting color of your testicles may open an honest conversation leading to improved intimacy and honest mutual consent. Though, I’ve yet to experience it in that way. To be transparent, this humiliation plagued me exactly twice—two times too many—and was preceded by something like this:
“I’ve been having so much fun. I really like you, and um. I need to tell you something. (She smiles meekly) I really, really like you. I just. Well, I just. I mean. I’m not going to sleep with you.”
At times, my list of reasons to dread that vulnerable moment spirals to irrational. And, I do hope that my timing will continue to improve as it seems there are better times to deliver the virgin message than others. Most importantly, I pray that hope, sincerity and honesty will be the mark of my dating relationships. Because quite frankly, I’m working through enough shame and doubt to turn your entire scrotum a rainbow of emotionally conflicted colors, and I’m gonna need you to help a sister out on this one.
Well. There is just really no way to turn that one around now, is there? I’m fighting the urge to explain this sort of rage in a more palatable way. But the truth is that being a hopeful abstainer is more than just a couple of near misses and G-Rated mishaps. It’s an all encompassing effort to wrangle your faith and your body into one being rather than the dissociated mess that both our faith and secular cultures propagate. This rather untoward question about bodily discoloration feels to me only a symptom of a larger, more important question that I continue to ask. How then should we live in these bodies of ours?
A Hopeful Abstainer